Friday, November 25, 2016

Pew Year In Review 2016

Pew Year in Review 2016

Another year BAM! Why is it when you are a kid you feel like the years take forever? I am pretty sure first grade was almost 2 years. But maybe that’s because Mrs. Roman didn’t like me. When you have a bunch of kids or I bet even one kid or a just a dog, life can get pretty crazy. Most of the time it’s a good crazy. I am grateful for a husband who is helpful and supportive because it’s usually me volunteering for craziness. We took some breaks for pure fun by heading to California with my family the day after school got out. We rented a Ford Transit Van (just for our family), it was sweet! We went to my paternal grandparents’ graves in Camarillo. It’s a lovely place and I had never been there. We also went to Naples and kayaked to some moon jellyfish. They aren’t poisonous so some people in our group touched them. Not me. We also went to Huntington Beach, the water was still pretty cold so we briefly played in the water. Timo brought his Spikeball game so he and the guys played that a lot. We went to Disneyland

 two days and Universal Studios one day.  The point was to see Harry Potter’s wizarding world that had just opened. It’s not as big as the one in Florida but still was magical. We hope they add to it in the future! We went to the Hollywood Walk of Fame but we ended up going to the Santa Monica Pier instead. It was less sketchy. We stopped in St. George on our way back and enjoyed relaxing at the pool. And drove home early Sunday morning so we could return the Transit Van on time! We had fun during the year visiting Thanksgiving Point Gardens, the Museum of Curiosity, The Museum of Ancient Life (Dinosaur) and the Farm too. Seven Peaks waterslide park with cousins and also Trafalga for mini golf, lazertag and rides. We also went up the canyon for fun adventures. Not to mention all the sports and shows the kids were involved in. We have a lot to be thankful for. If you want to keep reading here is what each of us has been up to in 2016:
Gwen (10) is in 4th grade this year. One of her highlights this year was being in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Lone Peak High School. They had a children’s chorus from students from the elementary schools in 5th and 6th grade that feed into the high school. Her director of Singer’s Company invited her and other Singer’s Company girls to be in Joseph because she was the musical director for Joseph. Gwen knows a lot of the students at Lone Peak in drama because of Emily so it was super fun for her to be in it with Emily. The show was fantastic, and I am not exaggerating because I saw it at BYU over 25 years ago and thought ,”That is one strange musical.” And never desired to watch it again. It was so funny and fun. Gwen is still taking piano and does well with it. She is still doing gymnastics but is no longer doing Singer’s Co. because Miss DeLayne isn’t doing it anymore. She did a little song and dance with girls from our neighborhood for a church variety show and loved it--they did Hard Knock Life. It was so cute and well done. She misses being in a show so I may need to find a group for her to join. She loves singing show tunes (as in musical show tunes) with Emily, and playing with dragons. She is fun and full of love and hugs that never get old.
Zane (13) is in 7th grade and started junior high and I think he’s almost enjoying it! I think some classes he likes and others not so much. He is still taking piano lessons which he doesn’t like but he’s diligent and reliable to do it. He’s the one kid we don’t have to remind: he does his homework AND turns it in! He started playing on the Lone Peak Middle School Ultimate Frisbee team this fall and loved it. It’s been so good for him to learn to be positive and have good sportsmanship. He also has skills so it’s been a good thing for him to participate in. He went on his first scout camp this summer and had a good experience. He works hard on his merit badge stuff and everything even though he really doesn’t like scouts. He will be a Life scout soon. He’s in Men’s Hip Hop and I look forward to their dance recital in December. He’s still the biggest BYU fan. And he still loves Legos. So if he’s not playing Ultimate, football or basketball he’s playing Legos. He’s a funny kid and I love how responsible and good he is.
Micah (14) is in 9th grade. He is now the tallest in the family. He flaunts the fact enough to bug all of us. Owell.In other news he made the 9th grade basketball team at Mountain Ridge. He’s not a starter but he’s grateful to have a chance to play. He also played Ultimate Frisbee this fall. He is currently on the boys B team for Lone Peak but there are 2 spots open on A team still and he would love to be on it. He’s pretty young so we’ll see. He’s made some new friends this year and having lots of fun with them. He went on a week long scout camp to Wind Rivers Wyoming last summer. They actually got up to the Continental Divide! He said that it was hard but it was worth it. He’s a good student when he isn’t being the class clown. He’s the first to help me when I am bringing in groceries or super busy. So with all the goofiness he has a nice good side.
Izak (16) is in 11th grade. He also is playing on Lone Peak’s Ultimate Frisbee team and he is on the boys A team.  He’s pretty excited about that. He loves his teammates and coaches and enjoys the girls who were on his mixed team this fall. The season just ended until February. It’s been fun for him to have both his younger brothers playing. He got his license last spring so it’s been nice to have him drive them to practice. He went to Camp Helaman this summer for scout camp and they built a raft out of milk jugs and some other cool stuff. He also went to Southern Utah with the youth his age from our church. He had a lot of fun on that and Emily went with him. He also has a job at Arctic Circle. It’s growing on him now that he has made friends and he knows what he is doing. He’s enjoying school dances. He went to Homecoming and Sadies. He has a lot of fun whatever he is doing. He’s taking AP US History and Honors Math but I think his other classes are pretty low key overall. He’s just been so busy but now with ultimate frisbee being done for awhile he is going to play Jr Jazz and have time to organize his eagle project, I hope! He’s a good friend and cares a lot about his friends so sometimes scouts and keeping his room clean are not priorities!
Emily (19) graduated last spring from high school. She had a fun senior year! She had a musical revue with her Drama Productions company and had to stage kiss--I laughed every night. Her brothers were disgusted. She was in movie knight with the chamber choir kids--no kissing there. She went to New York City with Chamber Choir and loved all the shows she saw: Wicked, Phantom and Matilda. Matilda was her favorite. She got sick but awesome parents on the tour helped her out.They sang in Carnegie Hall while they were there, very cool. I am glad she was well enough to do it. She got to go to Florida to Universal Studios (spent all day in the Harry Potter part)  and Disney World with her Drama Productions group and they performed at DisneyWorld. They had a workshop with Disney World and they wanted her to audition to work there!  She had decided she was going on a mission this fall so she didn’t. She made some great friends this year that helped her through some tough things. After our trip she got a job at O’Crowley’s Irish Tacos. The food is good and she likes the people she works with. She turned in her mission papers and it seemed like forever until they came back. Her mission call actually came while she was doing some fun hiking and stuff with the youth from our church down in Southern Utah. So she waited until the Sunday after she got home to open it. She is called to the Columbia, South Carolina mission. She had the original Missionary Training Center date of November 9th but she had it moved back because she ended up having surgery on her ankle the end of August. After hiking in Southern Utah she felt like something wasn’t right and she should have her foot checked before leaving on her mission. They found a divot in her ankle bone caused by trauma--it’s hurt her off and on over the past 2 years so we aren’t sure when the trauma happened or if it was multiple traumas. Anyway, the surgery went well and she was healing well, ahead of time but she decided to delay because she felt like it was too weak. I was relieved when she shared her decision. She was reassigned to December 14th. We all felt good about that. So at this writing she has less than a month when she will be leaving! She went back to work as soon as she could and has been going to physical therapy and doing yoga and walking to strengthen it. My parents were in Kauai for 3 weeks in November and she went over there and spent time with them. She had a great experience and feels ready for her mission more than ever. It was hard to put off when she just wanted to GO! But I think she is learning some great things during this time. She’s going to be great because her testimony of Jesus Christ is very strong.
Timo (22) is in his 2nd year at BYU. He earned a full tuition scholarship after last year for his hard work. He is still working at BYU Mail Services. He saved and bought himself a used car. His major is Stats with a minor in psychology (I think). He made lots of good friends last year and then moved out with his high school friends in the spring to an apartment off campus. He has made new friends and is still having fun with his friends from last year. It was fun to have him with us on our trip to California. He missed last time we went so he got to have fun with us until he had to fly back for his roommate, Gabe’s, wedding. He went camping with friends and to St. George with friends.After finals he’s flying to San Antonio to visit friends from his mission, the day Emily goes into the MTC. He has a tough schedule this fall and hopes to keep all his scholarships when it’s over. We always enjoy when he comes home with his friends for dinner and we play games after.  
Taran (23) did not go to school this fall. He’s a senior who is still figuring out what he wants to do. He got a fulltime job at NuSkin after going full-time at BYU last year. His band was busy with different gigs and venues including Battle of the Bands. We can’t always go but it’s fun to watch them. He and Lisa are doing well and just moved into a bigger apartment. And then their car died so they are saving up for a vehicle. That’s what they are getting for Christmas :). They were able to come with us to California. Actually Taran had to work the first part of the trip so he flew down. His wife Lisa went the whole trip with us. She had never been to Disneyland so it was fun to take her. He is signed up for a class next semester. I think he’s settled on Spanish. He and Lisa helped Emily take care of the kids while Tim and I were out of town. They are lots of fun to hang out with.
Tim (almost 50) what??? So ya we turn 50 this coming year. He continues to keep active playing tennis, basketball and ultimate frisbee at lunch. He is a manager of QA for Family Search. He just found out a couple of weeks ago that he made it into the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! He will start out in the Training Choir in January, they rehearse Tuesday and Thursday nights. These are mandatory through April. Look for him during April General Conference he might be singing! By the way, it was a three part process which was grueling and I am so proud of him!!!!  It’s one of the few things he’s ever really wanted to do. We celebrated our 25th Anniversary this summer. Well, actually I am not sure if we really did do anything that day exactly because we knew were going to Disneyland! Tim had a conference in the fall for work at the Disneyland Hotel! I had a free flight from my Delta AmEx. So practically free. We paid for our Disneyland tickets and other things we did. We had a fantastic time and if you want to know more of what we did ask us!

Rachelle (also almost 50) so this year has been interesting. I had helped with the Drama Parents group at the high school and that came to an end with Emily’s graduation. I enjoy being involved. Well no worries I am the PTA President at our elementary school.  It’s been great I have great people to work with. My president elect had to step down and I haven’t been able to find anyone to replace her. So I may be president one more year. Luckily most of my board is willing to join me another year so that’s a twist I wasn’t quite ready for! I still help with the choir at the high school and in other things as I can. I am still doing cub scouts but now I am in the WEBELOS den.They are the same boys I had last year it’s so fun! Hopefully they aren’t sick of me. This summer I realized that I needed to get into better shape and stop being lazy. I am active but I also came to find out I was eating 3 times the suggested servings on most things--YIKES. I am lucky I wasn’t bigger and in worse shape. I enlisted God’s help and He came through. He inspired me with a lifestyle change-- not a diet or special exercise for a limited time. Something I can do FOREVER. And it’s working. I am so grateful. I have lost over 20 pounds since I started on July 7th. This has been handy because my back has been having problems and after an MRI I found out I have a bulging disc same one I had to have surgery on 9 years ago. I had an epidural and it’s helped some. The chiropractor has also been very helpful and my daily yoga. So I am hoping no surgery this time. My Aunt Bev, my dad's sister passed away in September. I feel blessed to have been with her before she passed with my sister and cousins. She will be missed but she was suffering so it was a tender mercy.

Well that’s it for a year. I have personally felt lifted and guided during my challenges this year by Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. I know they love us and want to help us we just need to reach out to them. We hope you have a great Christmas and fantastic New Year!

Much love, Rachelle and the rest of Pews

Sunday, September 25, 2016

50 and Fit?

Mount Timp in the fall (PC: Me)
So I started this post awhile ago and it looks like it got deleted. Owell.  It's mostly for me. I think there is an inherent need to express ourselves.  I miss blogging but I started it when I had back problems 8 years ago and continued during a super busy time. It was not helping my family so I backed off and only post once a year. Life isn't less busy but my kids are older and don't need as much direction on Sunday as before. One thing I wanted to do by posted here is hold myself accountable. I made a body lifestyle change in July. I kind of wish I had a before picture. But I decided that I needed to change how I was taking care or not taking care of my body. 

For me and a lot of moms I know taking care of us is LAST priority. We put our families and others first. But I think it's a big mistake to let our health suffer while we take care of others. In the end we won't be there or at least in a healthy way with our families if we don't take care of ourselves. I enjoy exercising that isn't the issue, my issue is food. I love to eat.  I enjoy cooking and baking so it's been a challenge to eat healthy.  I like healthy food but I eat too much of it and everything else. I have hypothyroidism which means I have a slower metabolism than I should.  I honestly should be HUGE as it is I was on the obese side of the BMI table. I know so gross. 3 things we don't talk about sex, money and our weight right? But here I am. I was looking at photos from a recent family trip and I looked so fat and then I went on a hike that was 3 miles and I felt so heavy and out of shape. My oldest son Taran had wanted me to hike Timp with him and his wife the end of summer. After this 3 mile hike I thought that I would never make it up there and back at this fitness level. One of my friends from high school posted on Facebook her goal to be healthy by her 50th birthday.  So that's when I decided to set the goal  to climb Timp next summer after I got fit.  So 50 and Fit was born for me. I was going to start a Facebook group but my daughter thought it was weird but I know that it is easier if you have support of others to reach a goal not just a fitness goal. I haven't started a group because I don't want to be a goober. But maybe I still be a goober and make one!

So I am down 16 pounds. It's been fun people are noticing. So what I did was I had been reading and gathering info on healthy eating and exercising over the years. I put together something simple that fit my life. And so far it's working. I have a free app Lifesum that I track my eating and exercise and weight. I actually went off of refined sugar for 3 weeks trying to get rid of my addiction to sugar. The last time I went off sugar I got so sick I was going into withdrawal. I had a horrible headaches (are there any other kinds of headaches?). I was nauseated and lethargic. It was horrible so I went back to sugar.  But since then I had read more and found out if you eat lots of protein, eat every 2 hours and drink lots of water you can get rid the addiction with less withdrawal symptoms. It totally worked. So the app had me put in my desired weight and my current weight and suggested the calories I should have in order to reach my goal over a certain amount of time.  The app helps me stay on target. I also tried to eat every 2 hours and stop after dinner what ever time that is. I also drink lots of water. I also changed my exercise a bit by adding Tabata or sometimes it's called metabolic training. I do at least 4 minutes of Tabata (if you go to YouTube you can find lots of workouts)it's supposed to jump start your metabolism. So if I have a lot of time I do 30 plus minutes. I have been also doing yoga lately but usually I walk or run on the elliptical. I do this before I eat breakfast and after I drink a glass of water. I was putting fresh lemon squeezed in it which is supposed to stimulate the liver which helps clean toxins from your body. I have modified my eating, I eat healthier, usually but I also enjoy a bite or two or a whole serving of dessert.  I have made some amazing recipes I have found. I found some high protein snacks to make that are delicious, my kids, who are the pickiest, eat them and want more!

I know that I could not do this without God. I know he inspired me and showed me what I could do for me. He helps me keep my resolve. Have I messed up? Oh yes, I have but nothing like in the past where I would binge after depriving myself. I have feel like I am making better food choices and I know I am eating way less than before. It was eye opening when I starting measuring my food! I had been eating enough for 3 people! I know God and His son Jesus Christ care about our health and happiness and when we are ready to make changes in our lives they are ready to help.

Anyway, I am super excited about my new "lifestyle". I hope it helps me be fit enough for Timp and for turning 50!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Pew Year in Review 2015

Pew Family Year in Review 2015

I remember when people told me to enjoy my little kids because they grow up fast. I was very skeptical. Days seemed like years and sleep seemed like a dream of long ago. So for those of you with little ones or those who are just embarking on adulthood, enjoy each moment you are living. Sometimes you might have to search for the joy but do try. It will add to the memories and you will be grateful you noticed it. So here are some of our moments. I usually don't share the downs, there were downs and there were super tough times. There were sleepless nights and days full of worry but looking back we made it through, a little wiser and maybe a little more humble. And that is life, we hope all our experiences make us a little bit better than we were.

Gwen (9) tried out some new things this year which was big for her. She tends to be a little timid. She joined Singer's Company which is an all girl singing group and they learn songs, a little choreography and acting. They performed at our city's Family Festival. She loved it so much in the spring that she is doing it this fall and we look forward to her performance at the Festival of Trees in December. She also took horseback riding lessons this summer with her friend Molly and loved it. She would like a horse, of course. She tried gymnastics this summer with her cousin Holly and loved it and is still doing that as well. She loves her 3rd grade teacher. She still loves piano and does well at it. And she doesn't miss soccer at all. We are hoping she will someday learn to do her chores on her own. We can wish right? She's really sweet , fun, funny and distracted.

Zane (12) looks forward to being a deacon the end of November. He is in 6th grade A.L.L. The gifted program at our school. He works hard and does well. He comes home excited to tell me some new thing he learned. We love that! He enjoyed Jr Jazz last year and will play again this winter. He tried out Ultimate Frisbee this summer. Izak and some of his friends were the coaches. It was good experience overall. His flag football team did pretty well this year. An improvement over being DEFEATED last year! He still takes piano, not his favorite but he practices anyway. He's our very responsible child! He passed off the swimming merit badge after taking the class 2 times. What a trooper! Can we tell you how happy we are that he's our last scout? Scouting is great it's just a lot of work! Not just for the boys! He is enjoying being a deacon and even gets up early to shovel snow with the older brothers for the older people in the neighborhood.  He's fun and funny too and focused!

Micah (13-1/2) enjoyed Jr Jazz last winter, they got 2nd place in tournament. He played well. He tried out for the 9th grade team this fall and didn't make it but was upbeat about it and hopes to make it next year. He tried out the track team last spring. That was a new experience for us! He and his fellow runners were fun to watch. He also played soccer spring and fall with his same competition team. This will be their final year together as they will need to go AAA. He isn't interested in that but he loves his teammates most of them he has played with since he was 8. He does well in school. He went to Ultimate Frisbee practices all summer with Izak. He had fun at scout camp, they camped and fished in the Uintas. He enjoys serving in his deacons quorum. He is trained to be a Family History Consultant so he's found a ton names to add to our growing box of names. He enjoys going to the temple as much as possible. He also plays the piano and is interested in accompanying in choir. He found the Temptations Radio after dancing to "My Girl" with his brothers at Taran's wedding.  He is a lot of fun when he doesn't take things too far. He is anxious to work on his eagle project. Let's get the science fair project done first. Next year we may have 2 more eagles in the family!

3v3 Ultimate Frisbee Team 2nd place Middle School Turkey Bid Tournament

Izak at the Mixed State Tournament for Ultimate Frisbee
Izak (15-1/2) passed his permit test FINALLY. Yes, it took multiple tries. So now that the weather is turning nasty we can start practicing! YEAH. Feel the sarcasm? I like teaching driving as much as I liked potty training. It stinks! Anyway, he's had a lot of changes going on this year besides driving. He decided to try out Ultimate Frisbee with some of his friends last February. Honestly I got sick of him sitting around and I had heard about it from other people and finally made him take the leap. It helped that he had 3 other friends come with. They all loved it and were immediately the top players of the lowest team. This is a whole new world to us, like track! We love it though! It's a fun game and Izak and his friends are now on the B team this fall. They moved up from D. They stop practicing for winter soon and will start up again in February. He has made new friends and they are great kids. It's fun to be a part of the Lone Peak Ultimate Frisbee family. They played in several tournaments in the spring and then practiced all summer in the mornings M-W-F for 2 hours. Pretty fun way to start the day! He also went to a camp put on by BYU CHI the Ultimate Frisbee club which he enjoyed. He started high school this fall as a sophomore and is doing well even though he is taking honors classes. Hopefully proving to himself he isn't a total goof off! He is a lot of fun but he is also very smart but in a family with lots of smart people it is sometimes hard to feel like you are smart at all. Comparison kills. He continues to take piano. He went on a 100 mile mountain bike scout camp last summer in Southern Utah. He did fine until the last day his knee gave out so he couldn't ride his bike anymore. What great scout leaders to take these young men on such an ambitious ride! Hopefully he will work on his eagle project stuff while Ultimate Frisbee is on break. Maybe he can get it done before he's 18! I'm not holding my breath.

Emily as Mary with her stage family from Secret Garden.
Emily (18) just finished playing Mary, the lead in the musical Secret Garden at Lone Peak High School. It has been her favorite musical since she was 9 when her Granny took her to Cedar City to see it! She is a senior and busy as can be. She is also in Chamber Choir and Drama Productions. She worked at Zupas up until the end of October so she could pay for her tours. Chamber is going to NYC in February and performing in Carnegie Hall and Productions is going to Disney World in Florida and performing there. She loved going to DC last spring for her Drama/Choir tour. She also cleaned house for people and taught voice lessons to earn money. She did the choir yard sale with a lot of help from Mom and Dad and neighbors. She also earned money from the Disney concert that the Chamber Choir put on. She has a few more opportunities to earn money so it's looking good! She also was asked (actually begged) to join the Floral Design team and went to a competition they had at Snow College. She already is the VP for Drama Council but her Floral Design teacher REALLY wanted her to. Owell. She has enjoyed going to all the school dances and is trying to enjoy this senior year to the fullest. In October she was able to be on a Face2Face with the Piano Guys. She was one of the interviewers! Yes, it was an amazing experience. Her fellow interviewer got her the audition. If you haven't seen it go they were great. The Piano Guys are great examples of followers of Christ. She has applied for college but plans to go on a mission next fall as soon as she is 19. She is an amazing person, not perfect but she is a source of strength and light to many. If she cleaned her room, I mean really cleaned it, she'd be perfect. LOL

Timo (21) is in his first semester of college at BYU-Provo. He went on a mission straight out of high school and returned this summer, 2 days before Taran was married. He seems to be doing well in school. He works at BYU mail services. His Granny worked there many years ago but some of the people she knew are still there. He has a ROC pass (sports) and goes to all the BYU home football games. He tries to go to other sporting events too it just depends on his homework load. He does a lot with his Family Home Evening group. They seem like a fun bunch. He was able to go back to San Antonio the beginning of November and go through the temple with a man he had taught that was baptized. That was a great experience for him. He's a serious student but I think he is managing to have some fun. We hope anyway. It's nice to have him home even though we don't see him a whole lot.

Taran (22) and his wife Lisa were married last summer. Sorry if you didn't get an announcement. It was not intentional. They met at BYU, he was her home teacher. By Christmas it
was getting serious. They got engaged in the spring. We are glad they waited for Timo to get home! They went to California on their honeymoon to Morro Bay. From the pictures it seems beautiful. He is still working at NuSkin. Recently he was rewarded with great seats and food at a Jazz game. He says he likes all his classes he has right now. He and his band Emissary are competing again in BYU Battle of the Bands. It's a great creative outlet for him and his music talent. Lisa is going to LDS Business College in SLC. She is working as a TA there. She has some tough classes this semester. But she is still her happy, cheerful self. It's still a little weird to think we have a married child. It's surreal but then it's also a natural part of life. You want your child to find someone they love who appreciates them like you do! We are happy for them in the adventure of marriage and being a student. It is definitely the easier way to go through college—less distractions!

Rachelle (getting older) continues to work on organization, budgeting, healthy food and whatever needs her immediate attention which usually involves driving somewhere. She helps with PTA at the elementary school, drama and choir booster committees. She hasn't figured out how to fit Family History research into the schedule yet. But she has a ton of names to do so she tries to get to the temple each week—it doesn't always happen. She has 11 Bear scouts keeping her busy but she loves them. She and Tim enjoyed being a trek ma and pa. It was a great experience and we had some great kids in our family! We loved them!

Tim (also getting older) is solid as in dependable, he keeps healthy with his lunchtime sports and
eating lots of fruits and vegetables. He is still working at Family Search and manages some good people. He spends his “free time” coaching flag football and Jr. Jazz and getting kids to their stuff and watching them too. He also tried to keep the cars running and the house from completely falling apart! He got to “spot” for our friend who PAs for BYU football and basketball games. He spotted 2 football games—he'd find out the defensive player who made the play. He thoroughly enjoyed that. He takes good care of us all and we are blessed by his good works. He was a great pa on trek. He would be a great pioneer.

Louw Family Trip to Idaho, Sawtooth Mountains in the back.
We had a great time going to the zoo, Thanksgiving Point Gardens, the Museum of Natural Curiosity, the Dinosaur Museum,, Trafalga, Seven Peaks Waterpark, and up the AF canyon. Our family trip to Idaho was a great experience. Rachelle's mom showed us around where she grew up. We ended up at the Sawtooth Mountains in a cool log motel. We enjoyed time on Redfish and Petit Lakes. It brought back great memories of trips there when Rachelle and her siblings went as small children. We hiked to Goat Falls which was much harder this time than when Rachelle was 10! Tim and Rachelle were blessed to be flown back to DC by their friends the Butlers. They were there 8 days seeing the sights. They were great hosts and they loved interacting with the Butler kids. They even got to go to visit Tim's sister and her family who live in Maryland. It was a great trip and we were so grateful for Rachelle's parents for taking on our busiest week while we were gone!

We have nothing to complain about but maybe our government, hahaha. But I guess it's not really that funny :( Our blessings truly come from the source of all good, our Savior Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father who sent Him. We are so grateful to take time out from our busy lives to reflect more upon what He means to us. We are so grateful to know that we can turn to them in our time of need and they will guide us and that all things work for our good if we are faithful. May you feel their love in your life and may you enjoy the peace this season brings despite all the craziness in the world. 
Much love &  Merry Christmas! & a Great YEAR! Tim, Rachelle, Taran & Lisa, Timo, Emily, Izak, Micah, Zane & Gwen

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pew 2014 Year in Review

Pew 2014 Year in Review
It still catches me off guard how fast time goes these days, months...I am amazed I have 2 children in their 20s and find myself a few years shy of 50.  But wasn’t it yesterday when I was buying my oldest elephants for Christmas and wondering if I’d ever have a girl?  It has been a great year, lots of learning and growing.  But like those who have gone before have said it’s our relationships that are most important when all is said and done.  Family and friends mean more each year and stuff much less.  May your holidays and coming year be full of meaningful experiences that bring you and your loved ones closer together and know that you are loved by us, God and his Son Jesus Christ.  It is through them our relationships have greater meaning and joy. If you are still reading hopefully you will survive the update on each family member.

Gwen (8) was recently baptized.  It was a great day! All our local family came, we only missed Timo who is still serving his mission.  She is in 2nd grade and was a top “Mathalete” in her class.  Her teacher is a huge SF Giants fan so they had a party when they won the World Series--made a baseball fan out of her.  She has given up her dance shoes for soccer this fall and has made lots of improvement.  She started piano this fall and LOVES it!
Gwen's baptism

Zane (11) just turned 11 and is working on 2 merit badges...gotta get a jump on that around here!  He is in his first year of A.L.L. (Accelerated Learning Lab) our gifted program at the school.  He is doing well, he is not bored and keeps up on it without any nagging.  We all believe he will be the millionaire in the family!  He refereed soccer, played Jr Jazz and played flag football.  He still plays piano even though it’s not his favorite thing.  
Zane and Tim at a very cold BYU football game

Micah (12-½) started Junior High this fall, so far so good. He has enjoyed going to the temple since he turned 12.  He is currently serving in the Deacons Quorum Presidency and enjoys serving.  He enjoys piano and does pretty well with it so far.  He is also developing his drawing skills and can’t wait for art next semester.  He continues to play competitive soccer and also refereed this year.  And he is really good at saving his money.  He enjoyed his first scout camp at Maple Dell even though he missed Taran at the airport.  Taran and Tim went down to camp and saw him.

Micah and Taran at scout camp

After concert choir concert Izak and friends
Izak (14-½) is a big 9th grader.  Yes, we remind him often that these grades count.  It’s rough when school has been easy to turn it up and work hard.  We hope some day he will realize his potential.  He finished the spring playing competition, losing in the championship to their menace the Ninja Couch Potatoes.  Yes, that was the name of the team.  He’s grown so much and so fast they put their biggest guy on him and he actually still beat him out .  He decided to do flag football this fall and rec soccer.  Tim coached the flag football team and they won the championship!  It was an epic win, beating an undefeated, older team with matching socks in the in overtime!  Soccer was fun and refereeing was not except for the money.  He backpacked Wind Rivers Wyoming with his varsity team (scout lingo here) this summer.  He didn’t love it but he did well.  No police stories yet, we’re crossing our fingers.

Emily as Puck in A Midsummer's Night Dream
Emily (17) is a junior but wishes she was a senior.  She has a lot of senior friends and the prospect of them moving on without her is sad.  Luckily this school year she has made some sophomore friends who might make it worth it in the end!  She enjoyed being in South Pacific last spring in the ensemble.  This year they are doing Guys and Dolls and she is a hotbox dancer/ensemble.  She is the stage manager and costumer for A Winter’s Tale which will be after Guys and Dolls. She started working at Zupa’s this summer to pay for her trip to Cedar City for the Shakespeare competition this last fall and then Washington DC in the spring 2015.  She saved enough from work and her birthday to buy herself a new (to her) camera DSLR.  She has already taken some pretty awesome photos.  Her next big dream is to backpack the British Isles.  She is short but not on ideas and plans.  She doesn’t appreciate that Izak is taller than her and Micah close to passing her up.  She couldn’t have been happier than when she got her license.  It is nice to have another driver since Taran and Timo are gone!  She is in AP Language and AP Spanish this year and seems to do well in those classes. She keeps busy with helping out choir (TA) and drama stuff, historian for Drama Council.  She recently started voice lessons with Kerilyn Johnson and loves it!  And her most favorite thing is boys but that could be a whole letter in itself.  She doesn’t have a boyfriend just many boy friends. For now we are happy with that.
Emily in South Pacific

Timo and his latest companion
Timo(20) has 8 months left as a missionary.  He is currently serving in San Antonio as a Zone Leader.  He is over a group of other missionaries, he really enjoys working with them and it seems he has made some lifelong friends in his mission.  He has learned a lot and continues to learn and has become a better person from his struggles and experiences.  We are so proud of all he is doing.  He truly loves the people he has met serving in Texas.

Taran (21-½) is almost a junior in college.  He returned home from serving 2 years in Guadalajara Mexico in June.  He loved his mission so ‘normal’ life has been a challenge.  Luckily we had a Pew Family reunion that coming week after he returned and he got a job at Nu Skin to help him keep busy.  He is a great young man, we love having him back.  He moved back to Provo for the school year.  He enjoys his roommates and is serving as Executive Secretary in his ward.  He hates school and loves music.  Currently he is in a band (of mostly old band members and some new) named Emissary and they have played crepe houses and things at BYU and will be playing at UVU in December.  Hopefully he will be guided to what he should major since he has finished his GE in a year and half of school.  Gotta love AP credit!  And no, there is no girlfriend but he does have friends who are girls.  But we like to tease him some since he told us he wanted to get married when he first got home!  

Rachelle sometimes thinks she is going crazy.  The whole walking into a room and not remembering what she went there for and forgetting anything not on a list and then forgetting to look at the list.  Yep, that is her.  Somehow she has enough wits about her to help out with the drama parent booster committee as Secretary and is over Publicity for the high school choir.  Because of those responsibilities she took a break from PTA at the elementary school this year but still has helped with parties and field trips so that is fun. She was released from Young Womens the end of summer so she got to enjoy girls camp!  And now is a Bear Den Leader.  She really loves it!  One of her friends started a 1,000 mile challenge to complete this year (walking, running or swimming) and she joined in.  It came out to 3 miles a day with Sundays off.  Overall she has done well, only about 10 miles behind her goal and has lost pounds and inches without doing anything else.  She does miss yoga so maybe next year she can add that to it.  She also has gotten more into Family History.  It has been hard for her to focus on other things because she just likes to be searching out people.  She’s always liked a good mystery.  She has been able to find names to keep her kids doing baptisms every week and also her with family names each week at the temple since school started.  She can see that there are definite blessings from doing this work.

Tim still manages to fit in tennis even during this colder time of year.  He and his friend Ryan are diehards.  They are considering joining a health club.  We’ll see how that works out.  He also plays softball, flag football and basketball with the church men.  He enjoyed coaching Izak’s flag football team to their championship.  He may be coaching Micah in Jr Jazz.  He keeps busy being Executive Secretary at church and various projects at home.  Not to mention just keeping up with the kids and their activities.  Rachelle could not do it all by herself.  He’s her best friend and she is so grateful.
Championship Flag Football team

Pew Family Reunion
We had some great experiences this year! Besides Taran coming home, we had a Pew family reunion.  All of Tim’s siblings (7) and their kids (minus a couple on missions or unable to get off work) were here in Utah for the reunion.  It was great fun!  The kids did space camp, the Museum of Natural Curiosity, sleepovers, we did a service project at This Is the Place, we went to the temple adults and kids, we spent a few days at a ranch up Spanish Fork canyon in a huge house that fit us all.  Tim’s dad who was 80 at the time even rode a horse!  He used to ride in his younger days but that was fun to see!  The kids beat the adults in an epic Ultimate Frisbee game even though the adults were ahead the whole game!  Owell.  We ended the week with a dinner at a local park and other extended family members came to see everyone from out of town.  It was really great!

Emily found a new skill she enjoys: climbing
Gwen bungee jumping!
Later in the summer Rachelle’s mom and her husband Jay took all the families to Zions.  Taran had work training at Nu Skin so he missed out.  We started out in St. George swimming, hiking and golfing.  Some of us saw the Little Mermaid at Tuacahn and some saw the Wizard of Oz.  It was awesome! Then we went to Zions.  We hiked to the Emerald Pools and to the Narrows in Zion maybe next time we’ll go in!  We loved the scenery.  Beautiful!  We stayed in a beautiful place at Zions Ponderosa where we swam, and participated in a bunch of activities on site:rock wall climbing, bungee jumping, zipline, ATV riding, horseback riding, and even mini-golf.  We had a great time there as well.  So grateful to Jay for his generosity in taking us all!

Hiking in Zions Gwen with cousin Holly

Boys get ready to ride ATVs

Hiking in Zions

We also enjoyed going to Seven Peaks, Trafalga, Thanksgiving Point gardens, the new Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgving Point, hiking and other local activities.  We are blessed to live in an amazing place!

In closing we hope that you and those you love enjoy a blessed holiday, a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.  Love, the Tim Pew Family

Mom & Jay at Zions

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I was wrong...I am wrong... and I am sorry

Being a parent isn't easy.  You've heard it before, it's not for wimps.  Well, I am a wimp.  And why God thought I could handle seven amazing people to be my children has caused me more than one sleepless night.
You know, you go to college, take classes from experts, you read books and blog posts, you go to extra parenting classes...and then in the end what really matters is LOVE.

You know you can do SO many things to help your child, help them develop their talents, their testimony of God and Jesus Christ and you can try to teach them life skills ie organization, being part of the team/family and so on.  But if it isn't done with love, not just love but in away THEY feel loved.  It doesn't matter.

It's hard.  We all feel love or loved in different ways.  And true love is finding out how that is for the other person.  Some are simple or similar to our own thus 'easy' and others need love in different ways.  I am learning and I am going to try to love these seven children the way God somehow knew I could.

It will take change, it will take God's help and but you know I love them and I really want them to know that.  It matters to them and so it matters to me.

I am so sorry I didn't see it until recently and hopefully they will forgive my wimpiness. Look past the mistakes and see my heart...someday.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Pew Family Year In Review 2013
Time marches on leaving us left to figure out, where did this year go? I know some of it was left on the soccer field, in the laundry room, by my dad's bedside, in the temple and in front of the computer. Here is an update of our family's experiences.

Gwen (7) started first grade, her first full day in school. She loves school and making new friends. She finished soccer in the spring and took this year off but is still taking Irish Dance. They have these competitions called a feis (fesh) which she has yet to do--she wants to just do the recital (her words). She has real ghillies (gillies-Irish fancy ballet shoes) hardshoes that she dances in, she's pretty amazing to watch! She also is a great little swimmer and she loves it too. She would say the highlight of this year was going to Disneyland, her first trip. She went on every ride she was tall enough for at least once! It was magical.

Zane (10) is in the 4th grade and LOVES football. Especially the Dolphins in the NFL and BYU in college. He is the true FANatic! He played flag football and REALLY hopes Mom and Dad will change their mind and let him try tackle next year. He enjoys Jr Jazz which he plays in the winter and made lots of improvement in his swimming too. He continues to progress in scouts and piano even though they aren't his first choice. He LOVED Disneyland, he was so young the last time we went that it was like it was the first time. He was so fun!

Micah (11-3/4)Is the big guy at the elementary school being in 6th grade. He continues to play well on his competition soccer team but was diagnosed with Severs Disease just as the fall season ended. He just got the boot off in November and hopefully it will remain healed. He is fun and enjoys playing most sports with his friends but really wants a shot at indoor soccer—he missed the first session because of his foot. He is a second class in scout—one camping night short of 1st class and is steadily completing merit badges. His favorite is Robotics, he got to build and program a robot with his cousin Jeremy. He is also doing well in school and piano. He misses Disneyland and reminds us all the time. He refereed soccer this year in his spare time with Emily and Izak. We appreciate them earning their own spending money!

Izak (13 & some) is in the 8th grade and got into some criminal mischief. Who would have thought that walking through wet cement with your friends would bring a visit from the police and a visit with a parole officer? Hopefully he learned his lesson; it only cost us over $200. for our part of the restitution We actually laughed a lot about the whole thing, how ridiculous it was! He is playing soccer and they ended the season strong and look forward to futsal over the winter. He has been taking care of Taran's bass guitar and keeping up on piano. He has grown and may be taller than Taran by the time Taran returns next summer! His goal is to have his eagle scout by then. His favorite ride at Disneyland was California Screamin'.

Emily (16) started high school, she is in 10th grade. She loved 9th grade and finished the year as Miss Dorothy in the school musical Thoroughly Modern Millie—Millie's best friend. She did a great job and earned a spot on the high school drama Productions team. She was appointed the sophomore Rep for the Drama Council and got to go to Snowbird for a retreat to plan activities for the students in drama! She is also in choir and taking honors classes, teaching beginning voice lessons and still volunteering weekly at the Ashford an assisted living facility for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s. They recently asked her to work, as in an actual job, helping with food prep and serving the residents meals. She is so happy because that means she can give up her refereeing job in the spring! She went on her first date the week she turned 16, Sadie Hawkins dance at the high school. The theme was Disney so they chose to be the Pirates of the Caribbean. She had a lot fun but secretly worries she won't get asked to a dance. We'll see. Girl's camp was a river run in Moab and she loved it and wants to work there some day as a guide! She loved Disneyland as well and enjoyed meeting Flynn Rider as much as Gwen enjoyed meeting Rapunzel! She was able to go to Cedar City this fall to the Shakespeare Festival and enjoyed being in the ensemble and watching her fellow actors compete. It was a great experience! To her relief she passed her road driving test so now to get those 40 hours done!

Timo (19) had a crazy, busy year! A year ago the age change for missionaries The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints changed for young men to can go at 18 and young women can go at 19. Timo was thrilled with the change and decided to put in his papers as soon as he could. In February he got his call to the Texas, San Antonio mission. He was thrilled, as were we. Tim has 2 brothers who live in Texas and their parents served a mission there in the mission office. After he got his call it was all he could do to graduate with his honors in tact, and he did. He still applied for colleges and was accepted but deferred. So he graduated from high school and had 6 weeks until he left. During that time he was busy getting ready, he also helped my mom get things done at her house and watched the kids while I was at girls camp and he went to his last scout camp. He went through the Draper temple which was a neat experience for us and our family who came. He picked Jdawgs for his last meal together before we dropped him off at the Missionary Training Center (MTC). There he had great teachers and a great district he really loved. He has been in Texas since the end of July and has had a lot of great experiences. Not all have been easy but that is the mission. We are grateful to his companions and the people of Texas for helping him have a great experience. He is happy and we enjoy hearing from him each week!

Taran (20) still in Mexico serving a mission, he comes home in June! The time is flying by which is weird but true. He has had some great learning experiences and has grown so much. He was in the branch presidency in one area, has trained and is currently a district leader. His letters are always upbeat and inspiring. He has served in some really lovely places that we hope someday to see! He loves the people and the food! We are grateful for the companions and mission president and his wife who have helped in his journey as a missionary and when he finally does come home it will be a little sad. Do you think I can get him to write me weekly from BYU?

Rachelle (40 something) me! the writer, I spent most of the beginning of the year helping my mom with my dad. Around Christmas he was put on hospice. After Christmas she would not leave him alone. This gave us the opportunity to be there often so my mom could have a break. It was still hard and taxing on her. He finally went super downhill in March. We knew the end was coming. I spent more time there than usual, thankfully Tim and my friends helped me out. Once hospice gave us 24 hours but it took him 3 more days until he finally passed. It was the most exhausting experience of my life-- kind of reverse of birthing a child. Instead of euphoria in the birth, it was relief in his death. I felt so bad for him even though they said he was not suffering anymore and I felt bad for my mom who sacrificed physically so much to take care of him. So that is why it was a relief. His funeral was a great tribute to a unique individual whom we love and miss but know he is watching over us! And he is without pain or mental anguish from Alzheimer's. My mom's high school sweetheart lost his wife, rather unexpectedly 2 days before my dad. After the funeral he called my mom and asked her how long she needed to mourn, she told him 6 months and he said, “I can't wait that long.” So in June my mom married Jay Davis, he is the one who baptized her into the church in high school. He is a wonderful man and we are grateful he loves our mom and is willing to 'take care' of her. They have been all over visiting family and friends something neither could do when their spouses were ill. They took us all (all my siblings and our families) to Disneyland and the beach. I cried when we got to Disneyland, I know it sounds cheesy but I have wanted to take Gwen for so long. It was a true dream come true. Thanks to my mom, my dad and Jay for using that money that way. We had a wonderful time, it was magical! We were sorry Taran and Timo missed out but it was the best time to go for everyone else! Now I am home alone without a little person I go to the temple on Tuesdays, sometimes with my sister-in-law Amy when our schedules permit it . I help in Gwen's class every week, I am in charge of the Book Fair—helping the librarian and I am Room mom for Micah's class. I also help with publicity for choir events and drama events at the high school. I am still in YW and enjoyed my first whitewater rafting, which was pretty mild but for one day. We were in beautiful Southern Utah, the beauty of that desert landscape is something else! Both Emily and I lost our shoes on the river, the mud just sucked them off! It was a great spiritual experience too. I am trying to work on getting organized and am halfway done with my craft room. I am also working on Family History stuff, lots to figure out of my dad's stuff. Tim and I had two getaways this fall one to see our niece Erin get married in the Boise Idaho temple in September we drove up with his sisters Amy and Shellie and his parents. It was a short but sweet visit and are so grateful we could go. Mom held down the fort here with some help from Timo's friend Brynn. Then in October Tim had a conference in Las Vegas for Splunk. Learning to use it at his work. My mom and Jay watched the kids and it was quite the feat with all that was still going on! We flew down. Tim was hilarious taking pictures from the airplane because we were low enough you could see the beautiful Southern Utah landscape from above. I got to rest and read and shop and explore while Tim attended training during the day. At night we explored the Strip but one night we went to the temple and it was the highlight of our stay! We were grateful to them for making it possible! I still hope to get into a better schedule with exercising and organizing but things come up!

Tim (also 40 something) is still working at Family Search and is managing a team of Q & A guys. All his team members I've met seem to really enjoy him. Which is no surprise. He is awesome! He still fits in tennis no matter the weather if his friend Ryan can play. He keeps the bishop organized and appointments full as Executive Secretary. He also coaches teams and has taught Emily to drive and takes her driving. He does a good job because she passed her road test. He has done several home improvement projects around the house besides everything else he does to keep things going when I am helping at things or at YW. He writes our missionary sons faithfully each week keeping them updated in the sports world! He is my Duck Dynasty watching buddy! (we watch it on the internet). What can I say? He is amazing!

We've been greatly blessed this year from trips to health to happiness. Sure there have bad and even terribly sad things that have happened but really what matters is Heavenly Father and our Savior were there for us. They comforted us, they sent help, they loved us! So with their help we can still have a happy life, and for this I am so grateful for especially as the year comes to a close and we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. He lives and loves each one of us and wants the very best for us. I know this and I hope you feel His love this holiday season! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Rachelle and the rest of the Pews